Master of Laws (LL.M.) Program

FOR DOMESTIC STUDENTS

FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

THE MASTER OF LAWS PROGRAM (LL.M.) FOR U.S. J.D. GRADUATES

The LL.M. program is designed to take advantage of both the academic strength of the School of Law and the resources available in Washington, D.C. Students observe both academic and practical aspects of the law and legal thought through courses, seminars and externships that are supplemented by symposia, roundtable discussions, and forums. LL.M. students are encouraged to write a thesis under the supervision of faculty members, with the goal of seeking its proper publications.


CURRICULUM

Although the School of Law maintains a basic law school curriculum to satisfy its J.D. candidates, it also offers elective courses as well as a range of externships based in the Nation’s Capital. As an LL.M. candidate, you may select from the various courses and externships as you design a program that interests you the most. LL.M. candidates are free to choose either a thesis or 2 seminars to fulfill the writing requirement. Course and externship descriptions are available upon request.

Candidates may find a sampling of Howard’s Social Justice offerings of particular interest (see below).
 

SOCIAL JUSTICE COURSES IN SELECTED STUDY AREAS

Children, Families and Health
Child Welfare/Family Justice Clinic—4 to 8 credits
Family Law Practice—3 credits
Food Law—1 credit (seminar)

Civil Rights
Civil Rights Clinic I & II—6 credits
Civil Rights Planning—3 credits (seminar) 
Critical Race Theory—3 credits (seminar)  
Race, Law & Change—3 credits (seminar)

Criminal Justice
Criminal Justice Clinic—6 to 12 credits      
Criminal Justice Enforcement—3 credits (seminar)
Federal Criminal Civil Rights Law—3 credits (seminar)

Economic Justice
Consumer Law—3 credits (seminar)           
Creditors & Debtors Rights/Bankruptcy—3 credits          
Entrepreneurship Law & Policy—3 credits
Fair Lending and Economic Justice—2 credits (seminar)
Federal Employment Law Practice—3 credits
Investor Justice and Education Clinic—4 credits
Workforce Development—3 credits

Educational Opportunity
Educational Inequality Law & Applied Research
Selected Topics in K-12 Discipline—3 credits (seminar)

Housing and Environmental Justice
Environmental Externship—4 credits         
Fair Housing Clinic (I & II) —4 credits      
Housing Discrimination—2 credits (seminar)
Sustainable Development—3 credits (seminar)

 

BUILDING A SUSTAINABLE, PROGRESSIVE LAW CAREER

LL.M. students also have a special thesis option, for 3, 4 or 5 credits, to explore how to sustain themselves in their chosen career path for the future. Under LL.M. Director Prof. Harold McDougall’s direction, students can examine alternatives such as Big Law (especially its pro bono dimensions), public interest lawyering, government lawyering, law teaching, university administration, solo or small practice, “low-bono” practice, and others.

For more on this, access Prof. McDougall’s thoughts on the topic, presented as a keynote speech to the New England Clinical Legal Conference in October 2016, https://echo360.org/media/ee35f8db-3dfc-4e86-a767-cf3e3e0be1fd/public, reflecting on his recent article, The Rebellious Law Professor, 65 Journal of Legal Education 326 (2015); Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2691678 and reviewed by Scholastica at https://blog.scholasticahq.com/post/becoming-a-rebellious-law-professor-interview-with-harold-mcdougall/

 

THE THURGOOD MARSHALL CIVIL RIGHTS CENTER

The Howard University Board of Trustees recently approved the establishment of the Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Center at Howard University School of Law (“Civil Rights Center”). The Civil Rights Center will celebrate and extend the legacy of Howard University School of Law as the epicenter for civil rights litigation and policy work since it birthed the groundbreaking Supreme Court case, Brown v. Board of Education.

The Civil Rights Center will be dedicated to community-based litigation, policy work, and advocacy that promotes positive change through criminal justice reform, voting rights, fair housing, the expansion of access to educational opportunity, and the pursuit of immigrant rights, human rights, and economic empowerment for marginalized communities. The Center will also put on world class academic conferences and establish an online platform that will become a repository for cutting-edge legal scholarship in the field of civil and human rights.

The Thurgood Marshall Center is scheduled to open in the fall of 2018. Under the leadership of founding Executive Director Prof. Justin Hansford, a leading scholar and activist in the areas of critical race theory, human rights, and law and social movements, the Center will soon become an intellectual and legal hub for the post-Ferguson movement to liberate Black Lives.

LL.M. students interested in social justice and the Center’s work will find special and unique opportunities for growth and development in this exciting new context at Howard. For more details, see http://law.howard.edu/news-events/civil-rights-activist-justin-hansford-appointed-executive-director-thurgood-marshall

 

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

All degree candidates must successfully complete the following requirements:

  • Credits – Earn a total of 24 academic credits.
  • Residency – Be registered as a full-time resident for a minimum of 2 consecutive semesters in order to qualify for federal financial aid.
  • Research and Writing – Complete 4 hours of writing, either by writing a 4 credit thesis or by writing research papers in 2 seminars.
  • General requirements – Otherwise satisfy the School of Law’s requirements for graduation.
     

GRADES

Grading is on a numerical scale of 50-100. As an LL.M. candidate, you must maintain a minimum grade point average of 77 (C+). However, LL.M. candidates must earn a grade of no less than 70 (C) in each course in order to receive credit for that course. There is one special circumstance: the minimum acceptable grade for a thesis is 80 (B).
 

ADMISSION PROCESS

The application for fall enrollment is available from October 1st to March 15th.

As an LL.M. candidate, you must have a degree in law from an accredited law school along with a demonstrated high degree of academic excellence and promise.

Before your application can be reviewed, please submit the following documents:

  • A completed Application for admission to the School of Law’s LL.M. Program.
  • A brief (2—3 pages), typed autobiographical statement describing your professional goals and the role of the LL.M. degree in fulfilling those goals.
  • Official transcripts of your record from both the university you attended as an undergraduate and the institution you attended for legal study. Each institution must send original transcripts directly to the Office of Admissions.
  • An essay describing your intended thesis topic.

  • Two letters of recommendation that support your character and academic potential in a graduate law program. At least one letter of recommendation must be written by a member of your law school’s faculty. Recommendations must be from persons not related to you and must be sent by each person directly to the Howard University School of Law Office of Admissions.

  • A nonrefundable application fee of $60 in the form of a cashier’s check or money order listing Howard University as payee. Personal checks are not accepted.
     





     

THE MASTER OF LAWS PROGRAM (LL.M.) FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

The LL.M. program is designed to take advantage of both the academic strength of the School of Law and the resources available in Washington, DC. Students observe both academic and practical aspects of the law and legal thought through basic courses and seminars and externships that are supplemented by symposia, roundtable discussions, and LL.M. forums. At the forums, L.L.M. candidates discuss certain aspects of the law in their respective countries. L.L.M. students are encouraged to write a thesis under the supervision of faculty members, with the goal of seeking its proper publications.
 

COURSE OFFERINGS

Although the School of Law maintains a basic law school curriculum in American Law and Legal Systems to satisfy its J.D. candidates, it also offers elective courses as well as a range of externships based in the Nation’s Capital. As an LL.M. candidate, you may select from the various courses and externships as you design a program that interests you the most. LL.M. candidates are free to choose either a thesis or 2 seminars to fulfill the writing requirement. Below are some sample concentrations. Course and externship descriptions are available upon request.
 

HUMAN RIGHTS

Administrative Process and Civil Rights—3 credits
Civil Rights Planning—3 credits (seminar)
Comparative Law—3 credits (seminar)
Death Penalty— (seminar)
International Law of Human Rights—3 credits (seminar)
International Law—3 credits
National Security Law—3 credits
Race, Law, and Change—3 credits (seminar)

Faculty members with special expertise in these areas include Associate Dean Lisa Crooms-Robinson http://law.howard.edu/faculty-staff/lisa-crooms-robinson and Prof. Darin Johnson. http://law.howard.edu/faculty-staff/darin-johnson
 

PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW

Comparative Law—3 credits (seminar)
Conflicts of Law—3 credits
Corporations—3 credits
Domestic and International Sales—3 credits
Federal Taxation—3 credits
International Business transactions—3 credits (seminar)
International Economic Law and Organization—3 credits (seminar)
International Law—3 Credits Islamic Law—3 credits (seminar)
National Security Law—3 credits
Problems of World Order—3 credits (seminar)

Faculty members with special expertise in these areas include Profs. Ziyad Motala http://law.howard.edu/faculty-staff/ziyad-motala and Marsha Echols http://law.howard.edu/faculty-staff/marsha-echols


DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

  • All degree candidates must successfully complete the following requirements:
  • Credits – Earn a total of 24 academic credits.
  • Required Course – Complete successfully the 2-credit course on “Legal Methods”.
  • Residency – Be registered as a full-time resident for a minimum of 2 consecutive semesters.
  • Research and Writing – Complete 4 hours of writing, either by writing a 4-credit thesis or by writing research papers in 2 seminars.
  • General requirements – Otherwise satisfy the School of Law’s requirements for graduation.
  • Specialized requirements – additional certificate in Comparative and International Law requires a minimum of 15 academic credits of designated courses in Comparative & International Law, with all writing requirements to be completed in that area of study.


GRADES

Grading is on a numerical scale of 50-100. As an LL.M. candidate, you must maintain a minimum grade point average of 77 (C+). However, LL.M. candidates must earn a grade of no less than 70 (C) in each course in order to receive credit for that course. There is one special circumstance: the minimum acceptable grade for a thesis is 80 (B).


ADMISSION PROCESS

The application is available from October 1st to March 15th. As an LL.M. candidate, you must have a degree in law from an accredited law faculty of a foreign law school or an equivalent qualification to be determined by the School of Law’s Graduate Committee, along with a demonstrated high degree of academic excellence and promise. Before your application can be reviewed, the Director of Admissions must receive the following documents: • A completed application for admission to the School of Law’s LL.M. Program.

  • A brief (2—3 pages), typed autobiographical statement describing your professional goals and the role of the LL.M. degree in fulfilling those goals.
  • Official transcripts of your record from both the university you attended as an undergraduate and the institution you attended for legal study. Each institution must send original transcripts directly to the Director of Admissions. • An essay, written in English, describing an aspect of your country’s legal system or your intended thesis dissertation.
  • For applicants for whom English is a second language and/or for applicants from non-English-speaking countries, the results of the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Test showing you achieved a score of 550 or higher on the paper Based Test (PBT) or 79/80 or higher on the Internet Based Test (IBT). TOEFL test inquiries should be directed to The Educational Testing Service, (www.ets.org) Princeton, NJ 08540, U.S.A.
  • Two letters of recommendation that support your character and academic potential in a graduate law program. At least one letter of recommendation must be written by a member of your law school’s faculty. Recommendations must be from persons not related to you and must be sent by each person directly to the Director of Admissions.
  • A nonrefundable application fee of $60 in the form of a cashier’s check or money order listing Howard University as payee. No personal checks will be accepted.
  • One passport-size photograph.
  • Proof of the ability to study in the USA. • Statement of Financial Resources demonstrating the ability to pay for the program. The documentation must show the availability of funds no earlier than two months prior to enrolling.


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Qualifications beyond Completion of Law School to Practice Law in the United States
In addition to a bar examination, there are character, fitness, and other qualifications for admission to the bar in every U.S. jurisdiction. Applicants are encouraged to determine the requirements for any jurisdiction in which they intend to seek admission by contacting the jurisdiction. Addresses for all relevant agencies are available through the National Conference of Bar Examiners, http://www.ncbex.org/ (For example, the D.C. Bar requires LL.M. candidates to have completed 26 credits before being permitted to sit for the bar examination). Updated: September 7, 2017

 

 

 

updated: November 1, 2017